Controversy over Antiquities Act and National Monuments makes little sense

Part of the Antiquities Act project

Author(s): Kevin Mack

Year: 2010


Recently, some members of Congress have attempted to create controversy with an anonymous leak of an “Internal Draft — NOT FOR RELEASE” memo within the Department of Interior. The leaked memo contained a list of 14 areas in nine states that might be worthy of being designated as national monuments under the Antiquities Act. The memo clearly stated, “further evaluations should be completed prior to any final decision, including an assessment of public and Congressional support.”

For those of us who follow the political process closely, the resulting controversy is not surprising, but it is nonetheless disappointing.

Some Republicans have criticized Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar for acting in secret and for intending to abuse the Antiquities Act to create National Monuments, even though the Act has long been used by Republicans and Democrats alike, including the Bush Administration, to protect some of our nation’s most spectacular areas.

Cite this Record

Controversy over Antiquities Act and National Monuments makes little sense. Kevin Mack. Washington, DC: The Wilderness Society. 2010 ( tDAR id: 373650) ; doi:10.6067/XCV88G8HTX

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